Posts Tagged ‘@TraderJoes’
Working on this site, there are two things I can consistently depend on Trader Joes and sister company ALDI for – and that’s a lack of information. Whenever I drop them a query about a particular product, to keep you informed, all I get is <crickets>.
One time I heard from one of the PR firms who dutifully didn’t answer a single question I had but sent me a puff piece on the company that actually had less information than there is on the company’s website. Sigh.
There’s some personal irony here, as once upon a time I was at a dinner party and seated next to one of the original founders for Trader Joes, and he was more than happy to answer any questions I posed.
Which brings us to today’s review:
Trader Joe’s Wood Fired Naples Style Uncured Pepperoni Pizza
I was motivated to try this because I have enjoyed a couple of other TJ’s pizzas in the past, which I wrote about here and here. Those I liked, because they were both imported, one from France, one from Italy, and I wondered aloud why US frozen pizzas couldn’t be as good? My second motivation was TJ’s ad for this pizza in its flyer, in which it states that they worked with their favorite Italian crust maker and had the crusts sent over to their favorite US toppings company for completion.
According to the USDA number on the package, the “toppings company” is Nation Pizza, a contract manufacturer in Schaumburg, IL, who also makes many of the frozen pies for ALDI. This only adds to my confusion as the actual product packaging doesn’t say anything about the crust being shipped over from Italy. Oh well.
It’s completely pre-baked, so it doesn’t take long in the oven, the 15 ouncer take about ten minutes at 450. The crust is thin, but not cracker thin, and “puffy” around the rim, with a nice flake for a period of time when consumed just after baking. Not so much on day 2. Good, ample cheese, and the sauce reflects a very pure tomato base.
I’ve never understood the appeal of “uncured” processed meats, except for people that think they are doing something healthy by skipping the usual preservatives. There is certainly no difference in the taste of TJs pepperoni and any other, you can trust me on this, I have probably consumed a couple of tons of pepperoni in my lifetime.
It’s a pretty good pie, but won’t be on my regular rotation list unless it is heavily discounted in the future.
Trader Joes Frozen Pizza Review
Mahi Mahi? Isn’t that dolphin? No, but you sure hear that from a lot of people. The common name (Mahi Mahi is Hawaiian) is dolphinfish (one word), and like so many things in the English language, similar words cause confusion. This fish is no relation to Flipper. It is also known widely as Dorado.
The fish are found in warm off-shore waters, can live to be five years old, grow to twenty pound and can be very colorful. (Picture left).
Trader Joes sells a pack of four Mahi Mahi burgers in their frozen aisle, and they can be done on the grill, pan fried, or baked. I opted for the skillet, 4-5 minutes each side say the instructions.
The ingredients are very straightforward, mostly the fish, with a little oil, spices, canola oil.
It’s attractive in appearance for a ‘fish-burger’, tho not right out of the box.
I dressed mine with White Castle tartar sauce and Vlasic Dill Pickle Chips, with a pinch of Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (I put it on most things, in fact). Delicious.
These are easy to fix, low in cals, fats, and carbs. A good alternative to beef patties for your kids, let them decorate it the way they want.
Trader Joes Mahi Mahi Burger
I gotta tell ya, products that I have NOT liked from Trader Joes are few and far between. While the company does not make product themselves, they contract with top manufacturers in the US and overseas to bring fine quality foods with an international flair the to snooty grocery shoppers like me.
For their Truffle Salami, they went to one of America’s biggest processors, Busseto, parked on the edge of America’s garden (the San Joaquin Valley) in Fresno, CA. TJ’s description of the product is thus: “Overseen by an esteemed salumiere from Como, Italy, the pork is seasoned simply with salt, pepper and garlic, and then infused with the black summer truffles. Stuffed into casing, the Truffle Salami is air dried in a delicate process that takes 3-4 weeks.”
It’s a lean product, with a very mild earthy flavor from the truffles, and a distinct salami flavor from the dried pork. It’s a really excellent product, but Busseto only makes quality,whether under their own label or companies they do contract production for. To me, there is such a taste difference between really good salamis and the ones from the mass produced giants. Wish I could accurately describe what I think that is.
Listed ingredients are pork and salt. A few other ingredients at less than the 2% level, including the truffles, and celery juice, which is becoming the new “MSG.”
According to the packaging, the product comes out of USDA Establishment 9882, and if Google maps is correct, a pic one of their Fresno operations is below.
Busseto makes a wide array of processed pork products, available packaged and in deli counters most everywhere in the U.S. Not for nothing, but Busseto also makes uncured salami for Applegate, which I have tried before.
Trader Joe’s aren’t everywhere yet, but probably will be someday. For now, find your nearest store here. In the meantime, if you’d like to try some of Busseto’s great salamis, they can be shipped right to your door.
Truffle Salami Review
I haven’t been in a Trader Joe’s for awhile. Not sure why, wasn’t an intentional thing unless you count the frustration of parking at many of them. No, just circumstance. Kinda odd actually, since I think they have some of the best frozen pizzas (imported from Italy and France) available, and something I had forgotten about, their frozen chocolate croissants.
Croissants came to me fairly late in life, when I was partners with an American woman living in Europe. We had a place in Leysin, Switzerland, and after a few globe trotting years relocated to Paris, just off the Rue Saint Denis, in the 10th. We were just a down the street from Gare de L’est, one of the city’s train stations, and handy for popping around the rest of Europe. In both Leysin and Paris, pain au chocolates (not really a croissant) were a big part of our morning routine, walking down to the patisserie or bistro or tabac to have one along with an espresso or six.
Trader Joes does an outstanding job of replicating that experience, although you’d never expect that when opening the box and pouring out the four little rock hard nuggets of dough; you have to let them thaw and rise on the counter overnight, so they are not really an impulse item (well, they are to buy, just not to eat).
After you let them thaw, pop them into a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, the box cautions you that if they are “light brown” they aren’t done – bake until they are a deep rich brown in color. They are amazing. They also have almond ones (which I like) and ham and cheese (which surprisingly, I haven’t tried. note to self).
Trader Joes Chocolate Croissants